The R-40 series of Air-to-Air missiles was developed by the Bisnovet OKB (which became the Vympel company), during the early 1970s, for the Mikoyan MiG-25 (Foxbat) and the Sukhoi Su-15 (Flagon-A), although initially the needs of the MiG took priority in order to counter the threat posed by the American B-70 Valkyrie strategic bomber project (eventually killed off by the US Senate).
Originally produced in two versions-the larger of which, the R-40R was 20.6 ft (6.3m) long, the weighed in at 1,510-lb (985-kg) making it the largest AAM is service anywhere in the world. This was a Semi-active Radar-homing missile (SRHM) with a range of 21.7 to 44.7 miles (35-72 km). A smaller version, the R-40T was 19 ft (5.8 m) long and weighing 1,335-lb (606-kg) was IR-homing (IRHM) with a respectable range of 12.4 to18.6 miles (20-30 km). In service the MiG-25s of the Russian Air Force would commonly carry four such missiles (two of both types).
An extended range IR-homing version, the R-40TD based on the same R-40T airframe, was later developed for use by the MiG-31 . This has a maximum range of 31 miles (50 km) and is employed to augment the newer R-33 (AA-9 ‘Amos’) missile.
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